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Shh – Paisley u3a talk about world’s oldest library

Leadhills Miners' LIbrary interior courtesy Dr John Crawford

Among Scotland’s many achievements is the creation of the world’s oldest subscription library for working people.  Current Leadhills Heritage Trust chair, Dr John Crawford shares how this learning resource, developed by Leadhills Miners nearly 300 years ago, is operational today. Enjoy this free talk on Thursday 7 April.  Doors open 1.30pm for a 2pm start in the Salvation Army Hall, Mill Street, Paisley.    Alternatively, some can watch via a Zoom link from 2 – 3.30pm.  

u3a chair, Kathy O’Donnell remarked: ‘Having access to books and reading is something we take for granted today.  However, centuries ago working people did not have the same opportunities to learn from and study books first hand.  The creation of the Leadhills Miners’ Library helped so many people to better their knowledge and their working lives.  We will enjoy hearing how it began and how it assisted ordinary people.’

Leadhills Miners' LIbrary interior courtesy Dr John Crawford

Speaker, Dr John Crawford said: “Scotland has historic traditions of library provision which are of world class importance.  Leadhills was a pioneer in publicly available library provision, and its activities were informed by an early form of lifelong learning called mutual improvement.  It was an idea which subsequently spread all over Scotland and was particularly influential in Paisley.  Leadhills Miners’ Library made skills development possible for ordinary people, an idea which continues today in modern public libraries.”

Details of local u3a activities and groups at: https://u3asites.org.uk/paisley/welcome


Notes to the Editor    

  1. Photo: Leadhills Miners’ Library.  Copyright of Dr John Crawford. He’s the guest speaker at Paisley & District u3a’s monthly meeting on Thursday 7 April 2022.  To interview Dr Crawford or for any PR information, please contact Allana Parker, M: 07483 820027, email: alexandallana@btinternet.com

  1. Current and potential u3a members have the option to meet in person or join this meeting online via a Zoom link sent before the event.  Please register at: https://u3asites.org.uk/paisley/welcome

  1. Paisley & District u3a is Scotland’s 50th self-help learning co-operative for people no longer in full time work.  u3as, run by local volunteers who share their learning, are part of a UK-wide and international educational movement.  Its motto is ‘Learn, laugh, live.’  Scotland has around 10,000 members in 53 u3as who have fun as they enjoy the social side of taking up new activities, interests and hobbies.

  1. 2022 is u3a’s ruby anniversary.  A series of events will celebrate 40 years of this national learning organisation which has more than 1,000 u3as in the UK.  Details available at: https://www.u3a.org.uk/